Hands on with the new A700

Started Sep 6, 2007 | Discussions thread
OP Doug Brown Veteran Member • Posts: 3,964
What about the AF?

I thought the focusing of the camera was just outstanding. It has a double precision sensor in the centre - two cross sensors at the centre point, precision to 2.8 or larger - and when using just that focusing point it wasn't a problem to lock focus in any lighting even though the max. aperture of the kit lens exceeded using the precision mode. I specifically tested it in some of the dimmer recesses of the gallery, it's located in a former distillery wharehouse so there are lots of dark snooks and cranys, and it wasn't a problem to focus anywhere I wanted.

It also locked even with difficult surfaces. I tried it on smooth and reflective surfaces and it did fine. In the whole time I used the camera I didn't have one problem with focusing, and several times I went out of my way to find difficult situations for it. I would say it's definitely a step or two above the 20D.

And not only does it focus, but it does so accurately. As I said, the only shots that were out of focus were the ones taken in auto point selection, which I didn't realize I was using at the time. Here the camera tends to focus on the closest subject and shots I took of the model being photographed tended to focus on the Sony rep in the foreground as opposed to the photographer and model behind him.
Once I switched out of that it was just perfect.

Outside I did grab shots in single focus mode of people walking by, walking towards, with the lens wide open because that is the way I tend to use lenses when doing photojournalism and performance photography, and each is sharp. I didn't test the continuous focusing mode.
Focusing is definitely not a weak point of the camera.

Next week I'll have the camera for longer so hopefully I'll get around to using everything it has.

The performance of the new kit lens was pretty good too. I wouldn't have a problem using it, and the range of focal lengths is really exceptional.

Doug B
Torontowide.com

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